The 11th iteration of the annual festival launched earlier in the day with a packed lineup of pop, dance, hip-hop, and alternative rock music. For the second straight year, the festival took place at Citi Field in Queens, New York, rather than its usual turf on Randall’s Island.
After fiery performances from Jack Harlow, Quinn XCII, Black Pumas, Skepta, A$AP Ferg and more, the 38-year-old Cleveland native entered Governors Ball’s main stage at sunset, sporting bright ocean blue hair and a 1962 Los Angeles Dodgers letterman jacket. This was Cudi’s second time performing at Governors Ball, following his 2012 headlining set, which was the festival’s second year and first on Randall’s Island.
As the 7 train roared in the distance, he kicked off his set list with “Tequila Shots,” the standout track from his 2020 seventh LP, Man on the Moon III: The Chosen, which debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 after its release.
He then performed a 15-song setlist (see below), encompassing music from his 2009 classic debut, Man on the Moon: The End of the Day, to Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager, Indicud, Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin’ and, later, his latest release “Do What I Want.” Cudi dropped the latter single on Friday as the first release from his upcoming album, Entergalactic, due out this year through Republic Records.
The new album serves as a musical component to Cudi’s upcoming adult animated Netflix series of the same name, also starring Timothee Chalamet, Jessica Williams and Ty Dolla $ign. This marked Cudi’s first live performance of “Do What I Want.”
After “Tequila Shots” and “She Knows This,” both from Man on the Moon III, Cudi backtracked to “REVOFEV” and “Marijuana,” both off 2010’s Man on the Moon II. Next, Cudi brought out longtime collaborator King Chip (formerly Chip Tha Ripper) to perform the duo’s 2012 hit “Just What I Am,” the lead single off 2013’s Indicud. The pair’s chemistry was electric, a surefire sign of their longstanding history.
“We haven’t even gotten to the rage section of the show yet,” Cudi mused at around the halfway mark of his set. “This one’s dedicated to all the f—ed up kids like me.”
Cudi then dove into his 2010 rock anthem “Mr. Rager,” a song that, for many, has come to epitomize the rapper’s catalog, as the dark and ominous track details his experience nearly overdosing.
Cudi later performed his 2020 smash hit “The Scotts,” prefacing the track saying, “This one’s for my brother Travis (Scott). Sing it loud so he can hear you.” The track debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in May 2020, earning Cudi his first career No. 1 hit.
Keeping with the party atmosphere, Cudi wrapped up his first headlining Governors Ball setlist with two of his classic dance hits: David Guetta’s “Memories” (on which Cudi is featured) and “Pursuit of Happiness.”
See Kid Cudi’s Governor’s Ball set list below.
“She Knows This”
“Just What I Am” (with King Chip)
“Up Up & Away”
“Mojo So Dope”
“Do What I Want”
“Pursuit of Happiness”